Friday, June 20, 2008

David Brooks Lays Out, "The Two Obama's"

David Brook's excellent article The Two Obama's does an excellent job laying out how Senator Obama talks reform and inspiration, but plays old school politics as well as anyone out there...

"God, Republicans are saps. They think that they’re running against some academic liberal who wouldn’t wear flag pins on his lapel, whose wife isn’t proud of America and who went to some liberationist church where the pastor damned his own country. They think they’re running against some na├»ve university-town dreamer, the second coming of Adlai Stevenson..."


"...But as recent weeks have made clear, Barack Obama is the most split-personality politician in the country today. On the one hand, there is Dr. Barack, the high-minded, Niebuhr-quoting speechifier who spent this past winter thrilling the Scarlett Johansson set and feeling the fierce urgency of now. But then on the other side, there’s Fast Eddie Obama, the promise-breaking, tough-minded Chicago pol who’d throw you under the truck for votes..."


Brooks goes on to explain Obama's history of old school politics. That he is smart and calculating, and has laid out a path for himself that any old-school Chigago politician would be proud of...

"...Back when he was in the Illinois State Senate, Dr. Barack could have taken positions on politically uncomfortable issues. But Fast Eddie Obama voted “present” nearly 130 times. From time to time, he threw his voting power under the truck.

Dr. Barack said he could no more disown the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than disown his own grandmother. Then the political costs of Rev. Wright escalated and Fast Eddie Obama threw Wright under the truck.

Dr. Barack could have been a workhorse senator. But primary candidates don’t do tough votes, so Fast Eddie Obama threw the workhorse duties under the truck.

Dr. Barack could have changed the way presidential campaigning works. John McCain offered to have a series of extended town-hall meetings around the country. But favored candidates don’t go in for unscripted free-range conversations. Fast Eddie Obama threw the new-politics mantra under the truck.

And then on Thursday, Fast Eddie Obama had his finest hour. Barack Obama has worked on political reform more than any other issue. He aspires to be to political reform what Bono is to fighting disease in Africa. He’s spent much of his career talking about how much he believes in public financing. In January 2007, he told Larry King that the public-financing system works. In February 2007, he challenged Republicans to limit their spending and vowed to do so along with them if he were the nominee. In February 2008, he said he would aggressively pursue spending limits. He answered a Midwest Democracy Network questionnaire by reminding everyone that he has been a longtime advocate of the public-financing system.


Full David Brook's article The Two Obama's

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Obama Advisor Susan Rice's Major Historical/Foreign Policy Error



Unfortunately, Susan Rice's statement regarding the Kennedy Khrushchev meeting, "Thank God he did because if he hadn't we would have not been able to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis" is completely false. In fact historians agree that this meeting fueled the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Weekly Standand, in detailing the Kennedy Khrushchev meeting, quotes NYT columnist James Reston who interviewed President Kennedy right after his meeting with Khrushchev,
"Reston reported that Kennedy said just enough for Reston to conclude that Khrushchev "had studied the events of the Bay of Pigs" and that he had "decided that he was dealing with an inexperienced young leader who could be intimidated and blackmailed." Kennedy said to Reston that Khrushchev had "just beat [the] hell out of me" and that he had presented Kennedy with a terrible problem: "If he thinks I'm inexperienced and have no guts, until we remove those ideas we won't get anywhere with him. So we have to act."
Kennedy responded to the meeting with a congressional request for a dramatic increase in defense spending, and a significant increase in the size of the military. Khrushchev responded to Kennedy's actions with above ground nuclear testing and erecting the Berlin Wall. The tensions between the US and Soviet Union dramatically increased due to the Kennedy Khrushchev meeting; the Cuban Missile Crisis followed.

Susan Rice's statement is simply false. There is no historical record of the Kennedy Khrushchev meeting being at all helpful in resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis and actually the exact opposite true that an inexperienced leader was bullied into an arms race.

'Obama Advisor Susan Rice's Major Historical/Foreign Policy Error' first published at Purple People Vote